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~*1 John 4:7*~

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- Princess Catherine ~*~

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How Can We Know That The Bible Is True?

Have you questioned whether the Bible was true or not? Or has anyone ever asked you about the validity of the Bible? As Christians, of course we believe in the Bible and we believe that it is true, but how do we go about showing that to others? What else can we say except that the Bible is true simply because it is?

Here at White Rose Valley we princesses use the Bible a lot to back up our posts and we want you to be confident about the verses that we write. And hey--it wouldn't hurt to know this for any future reference when we might need it. :)

My dad recently taught a lesson on this very topic and I'd like to share with you what he had to say.

There are many reasons that the Bible(specifically the New Testament in this post, since that it where we learn about Jesus and His gift of salvation to us) is true other than the fact that we Christians believe that God inspired it (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Let's look at a couple.

1) The amount of years from the original manuscript to the earliest copy we have.

What I mean is if we look at an ancient work, such as Homer's Iliad, we see that the closest copy we have to the original was written 500 years after the first.
Now, wouldn't you agree that it would seem as though the closer the copy of a manuscript to the original, the more accurate and believable it would be? That's makes sense to me!
If we study Pliny's History we find that the closest copy we have to the first was written 750 years afterward. For the Gallic Wars by Ceasar it's 1000 years from the original to the earliest copy.

So what about the New Testament?

The earliest copy we have found was written about 25 years after the original! Isn't that awesome? I think it is so cool that God has given us evidence that far surpasses other historical writings!

2) The number of ancient hand-written copies we have(as in before the printing press).

Before we do some comparisons, let me ask another question: Do you think that a manuscript would more likely or less likely to be copied wrong and have errors if there are lots of different copies? Right; the more copies, the more reliable the document is.

So, for the Iliad we have 643 copies, for Pliny's History we have 7 copies, for the Gallic Wars 10 copies, and for the Bible? More that 24,000 copies! Unbelievable! Even if someone wanted to change something in the copy they had, once it was compared with other copies and those all said the same thing, it would show that the right thing was written in the many copies instead of the changed one. And this is all before the printing press!

I want to point out real quick that these are actual ways that historians look at ancient documents. I didn't just make this stuff up; no, people really use these methods!

Also, I have only mentioned two different ways of how we can know that the Bible is true. There are many other ways to look at as well, such as all the different authors who wrote it and how it all still makes sense.

So, we do, in fact, have evidence for the validity of the Bible. It is a true document, and that's something you can be sure of!

~Princess Gloria


  1. Sorry to be skeptical, but numbers alone don't prove that the Bible is true.
    It only means that that many people thought it worth copying. My teacher says it's just a book of stories. Is there anyway you can prove the stories in the Bible are true?

  2. Anonymous,

    First I'd like to say that technically, nothing in the past can be "proven". I can't prove what I ate for breakfast this morning, because that is in the past and is not repeatable. What I presented to you was a few good reasons why we can trust the Bible. No one can prove the Bible, but neither can they prove a writing like Homer's Iliad, yet they still believe it because it has relatively reliable factors. The Bible far surpasses the reliability of the Iliad and yet many people still question it (I'm talking generally here, not specifically to you).

    In my post I wrote about a couple of issues in a process called "textual criticism" which is a study of historical documents and how we can know that they are reliable. The Bible has been tested this way and in order to have "passed" it has been subjected to the same tests that historians use to determine the accuracy of any ancient writing. (One question you might ask your teacher is whether or not he has studied this science.) At least these seven questions are asked:

    1) Do we have early testimony(referring to how close the earliest copy we have is to the original)?

    2) Do we have eyewitness testimony( Did the writers actually see the events?)?

    3) Do we have testimony from multiple, independent, eyewitness sources( Did more than one person witness and record the event?)?

    4) Are the eyewitnesses trustworthy( of good character)?

    5) Do we have corroborating(non-contradictory) evidence from archeology or other writers?

    6) Do we have any enemy attestation(Did opponents of the eyewitnesses agree about the event?)?

    7) Does the testimony contain events or details that are embarrassing to the authors( Why would the Biblical authors include that Peter denied Jesus, that women (not men) were the first to see Jesus, that the apostles didn't always understand Jesus, that Peter was called "Satan" by Jesus?)?

    If you'd like to go a route other than textual criticism we can talk about the authors. There were actually more than forty different men who wrote down what the Spirit of God prompted them to write. It would seem as though because of there were so many the different books they wrote wouldn't fit together, and yet they do. The four gospels were all written by different men, and yet all their accounts are similar and portray the same occurrences. What are the odds that you could get together a group of men and tell them to all write a story and have it come out with the same characters, the same plot, the same settings, etc.?
    Also, take a look at all the prophecies that have been foretold and you'll see that all the ones that were supposed to have come true have, and the ones that haven't happened yet we're still waiting on. In fact, in regards to Jesus, both Isaiah and Micah made prophecies about his birth. Isaiah said that He would be born of a virgin, and Micah mentioned that the event would take place in Bethlehem. Two different authors and yet even if they had conspired to create such an occurrence(they both prophesied about 750 years before Christ), the event still actually took place.
    (A little side note: The Bible was written over about a 1500 year span.)

    I hope this has been helpful in answering your questions. Please feel free to ask more; we(I) don't want you to be confused.

    In Christ,

    ~Princess Gloria

    P.S. If you'd like to do some research and reading, you can check out "I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist" by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. It seems to be pretty helpful dealing with issues like these.

  3. Thank you so much for posting this article! I know the Bible is true, but sometimes I'm not really sure why, and I wonder what I would say if someone asked me. Now I know! God has gifted you with being able to communicate difficult things in a way that makes them so easy to understand.

    Princess Melody***